Coronavirus Found In Davis Schools' Air Filters

Newly developed surveillance swabbing detected the coronavirus in HEPA filters in two Davis classrooms in the last two weeks.

Video Transcript

- New here at 4:00, Davis Unified, launching a new air filter pilot program to protect students and staff from COVID.

0 CBS 13's Rachel Wolf with how it works.

- Kids are back in class with safety protocols, like physical distancing, masking, and plastic barriers throughout classrooms. Even so, newly developed surveillance swabbing detected the coronavirus in HEPA filters, like this, in two Davis classrooms in the last two weeks. One at Korematsu Elementary and the other at North Davis Elementary.

- That's really scary, really scary, but it's good they can trace it back.

- The testing is part of a pilot program with Davis Joint Unified School District and Healthy Davis Together with UC Davis conducting the testing. It started last week. The goal, identifying a problem before it can spread.

- It's, basically, providing this passive monitoring in place of each child getting tested every single day, because it's monitoring any viral activity in the whole room.

- Dr. Sherry [? Bielawski ?] is medical director for Healthy Davis Together. She says students have been tested and no coronavirus detected. How is that possible?

- Right from the swab was collected, and then processed in the lab, and then the results was found, and the children were tested, there's a period of several days. And that person's infection could be waning.

- She says, all HEPA filters that tested positive were replaced, and those have since tested negative. More proof the threat is gone. Good news for parents who know with kids, the fight against the spread of the coronavirus is a daily battle.

- They end up being close at lunch with no masks, and you know, it's hard to have a kid keep their mouth on.

- [? Bielawski ?] says, district staff will continue to swab classroom filters weekly.

- By having an air filter in place and swabbing it, you, basically, have a sentinel.